One of the best things about training in Zen and Tao is that I start to notice my own interior workings and how often my reactions to life are steeped in conditioned ego.
My cat Spike was very needy this morning. Very noisy and constantly underfoot. I was caught up in attempting to read and study. I became annoyed with him and was thinking, “I wish he would stop and go lie down.” Not the friendliest or most accepting of thoughts.
During my meditation he climbed up on my shoulders and started purring loudly in my ear. I had this insight.
He is doing nothing intentional to warrant my poor reactions. He wants to be held, to feel safe, and connected. I on the other hand am not currently feeling that way. My focus was on getting my studying done. At any other time, contingent on my mood and activities, I would be more than happy to have him bonding. It’s very much that classic Zen sharing that says “We see the world as we are not as it is.”
I had nothing that supported my attitude except my conditioned ego that said “I have important things to do and your bothering me because of your needs.” I wonder how many times I have given off these “Don’t bother me” messages to those people around me? How many times have I projected “I don’t have time” for others? When in fact, I have time and use the excuse of “not enough time” to justify my inattention on them and my egoic attention on self. And the opposite, how many times has my conditioned personality been upset because others didn’t appear to have time to give me attention? When I look at both of these positions what stands out is they are both about what I think I want and not about others. There is a place for self focus, we can’t afford to become to fragmented, but I think that’s a small part of any day.
One good thing about being human, I never run out of things to notice reflected back to me from the universe filled with lessons.
Take care of you, smile towards yourself this weekend!